Importance: Care of adults at profit vs nonprofit dialysis facilities has been associated with lower access to transplant. Whether profit status is associated with transplant access for pediatric patients with end-stage kidney disease is unknown.
Objective: To determine whether profit status of dialysis facilities is associated with placement on the kidney transplant waiting list or receipt of kidney transplant among pediatric patients receiving maintenance dialysis.
Design, setting, and participants: This retrospective cohort study reviewed the US Renal Data System records of 13 333 patients younger than 18 years who started dialysis from 2000 through 2018 in US dialysis facilities (followed up through June 30, 2019).
Exposures: Time-updated profit status of dialysis facilities.
Main outcomes and measures: Cox models, adjusted for clinical and demographic factors, were used to examine time to wait-listing and receipt of kidney transplant by profit status of dialysis facilities.
Results: A total of 13 333 pediatric patients who started receiving maintenance dialysis were included in the analysis (median age, 12 years [IQR, 3-15 years]; 6054 females [45%]; 3321 non-Hispanic Black patients [25%]; 3695 Hispanic patients [28%]). During a median follow-up of 0.87 years (IQR, 0.39-1.85 years), the incidence of wait-listing was lower at profit facilities than at nonprofit facilities, 36.2 vs 49.8 per 100 person-years, respectively (absolute risk difference, -13.6 (95% CI, -15.4 to -11.8 per 100 person-years; adjusted hazard ratio [HR] for wait-listing at profit vs nonprofit facilities, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.75-0.83). During a median follow-up of 1.52 years (IQR, 0.75-2.87 years), the incidence of kidney transplant (living or deceased donor) was also lower at profit facilities than at nonprofit facilities, 21.5 vs 31.3 per 100 person-years, respectively; absolute risk difference, -9.8 (95% CI, -10.9 to -8.6 per 100 person-years) adjusted HR for kidney transplant at profit vs nonprofit facilities, 0.71 (95% CI, 0.67-0.74).
Conclusions and relevance: Among a cohort of pediatric patients receiving dialysis in the US from 2000 through 2018, profit facility status was associated with longer time to wait-listing and longer time to kidney transplant.